Objectives: The rapid diagnosis of acute infections and sepsis remains a serious challenge. As a result of limitations in current diagnostics, guidelines recommend early antimicrobials for suspected sepsis patients to improve outcomes at a cost to antimicrobial stewardship. We aimed to develop and prospectively validate a new, 29-messenger RNA blood-based host-response classifier Inflammatix Bacterial Viral Non-Infected version 2 (IMX-BVN-2) to determine the likelihood of bacterial and viral infections.
Design: Prospective observational study.
Setting: Emergency Department, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany.
Patients: Three hundred twelve adult patients presenting to the emergency department with suspected acute infections or sepsis with at least one vital sign change.
Interventions: None (observational study only).
Measurements and main results: Gene expression levels from extracted whole blood RNA was quantified on a NanoString nCounter SPRINT (NanoString Technologies, Seattle, WA). Two predicted probability scores for the presence of bacterial and viral infection were calculated using the IMX-BVN-2 neural network classifier, which was trained on an independent development set. The IMX-BVN-2 bacterial score showed an area under the receiver operating curve for adjudicated bacterial versus ruled out bacterial infection of 0.90 (95% CI, 0.85-0.95) compared with 0.89 (95% CI, 0.84-0.94) for procalcitonin with procalcitonin being used in the adjudication. The IMX-BVN-2 viral score area under the receiver operating curve for adjudicated versus ruled out viral infection was 0.83 (95% CI, 0.77-0.89).
Conclusions: IMX-BVN-2 demonstrated accuracy for detecting both viral infections and bacterial infections. This shows the potential of host-response tests as a novel and practical approach for determining the causes of infections, which could improve patient outcomes while upholding antimicrobial stewardship.
Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.